Wednesday, 12 January 2022, Arab Republic of Egypt: President Abdel Fatteh Al Sisi has declared his readiness to follow up the requested UN Security Council intervention on Nile dispute on the Sudanese crisis. The Egyptian president, and top regional leader Abdel Fatteh Al Sisi made the remarks during an press conference with international media in the framework of the 4th World Youth Forum in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. He called for dialogue to resolve the crisis in Sudan.
Regarding the Nile dispute, Al Sisi said that the Nile must be a source of cooperation and development for regional countries, however that the Nile is of an unquestionable importance for Egypt and that he is ready to follow up on the UN Security Council intervention to solve the dispute.
Ethiopia unilaterally began in 2011 the construction of the over $5 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Hydroelectric Dam, creating a diplomatic crisis with Egypt, which had enjoyed thousands of years of hegemony on the Nile. Also creating a risks of water supply for Egypt and Sudan. Field Marshal Al Sisi declared that Egypt is now poor in water, and that the Nile river is an unquestionable source of water for his country.
The dispute for Nile basin fresh water has been increasing after Ethiopia started building the GERD. The project has generated the most unmanageable challenge amongst the three Nile countries: Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. The situation evolves towards a more disestablishing interstate freshwater dispute in the Middle East and wider North Africa.
Ethiopia completed the dam during trilateral talks drawn-out since 2011 without compliance with international norms vis-à-vis Egypt and Sudan, and eventually rejected binding commitments towards her neighbours in February 2020. Late June Ethiopia declared its intent to fill the dam’s reservoir without an agreement in place. This action pushed Egypt and Sudan to formally request UN Security Council (UNSC) intervention.
Though Ethiopia contributes 85% of the Nile’s waters, a 1959 agreement between Sudan and Egypt gave 55.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) to Egypt and 18.5 bcm annually to Sudan and nothing to Ethiopia.
The crisis in Sudan, which emerged from international isolation and sanctions in December 2020, has stalled cooperation with the neighbours who have other common problems to manage. President Al Sisi seeks to reinvigorate the trilateral dialogue, and find a common ground with Ethiopia.
For further information
Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh: https://www.sis.gov.eg/Story/160071/4th-World-Youth-Forum-to-be-launched-in-Sharm-on-Jan.10?lang=en-us